Nobody wants to be depressed. Unfortunately, living with depressing seems to be a never-ending constant state of being for millions of Americans. The Center for Disease Control says that about 9% of Americans report they are depressed at least occasionally, and 3.4% suffer from major depression. Women seem to have it the worst, as they are much more likely than men to report major depression, with 4% of women compared to 2.7% of men.
The cause of depression is obviously a multi-faceted problem, and it usually isn’t brought on by one particular issue in one’s life. Various factors play into the emergence of a person’s depressive state. The onset of depression is much more complex than a simple chemical imbalance in the brain. Some people are genetically predisposed to a higher chance of acquiring depression, and many stressful life events can occur that are entirely out of your hands.
A huge reason why many people are depressed is that depression is a side effect of countless different prescription medications. Acknowledge that 55% of Americans regularly take at least one prescription medicine, and you can easily see another reason why rates of depression have skyrocketed. This leads us to ask: Why are so many people dependent on prescriptions? A number that high clearly indicates a very unhealthy populace.
People obviously take medications for all sorts of ailments, but what if many of these ailments all share a common source? I think it would be safe to assume that if this 55% of Americans didn’t need to be on meds, statistically they would be at a much lower chance at being depressed.
What if it has something to do with our diet? I have a sneaking suspicion that the Standard American Diet (SAD) is responsible for making us fat, sick, and depressed. I’ve been looking into some scientific research that supports this hypothesis and the literature I’ve found is mind-blowing.
One study found that the SAD induces obesity, anxiety and depressive-like behavior, and progressively alters cognition. There is also more evidence that dietary carbohydrates and high levels of blood glucose affect the stabilization of your mood. Eating refined carbs like those found in bread, soda, and candy has also been linked to higher rates of depression.
Apparently when our glucose spikes after eating a carbohydrate-rich meal, our body triggers a hormonal response in order to reduce our blood sugar. This response can cause or worsen mood changes, fatigue and other symptoms of depression. High consumption of refined starches and sugars is also a risk factor for inflammation and cardiovascular disease, conditions that have been implicated in depression.
A study across six countries found a highly significant correlation between sugar consumption and the rate of depression. In addition to a ketogenic or carnivore diet being low-sugar or no-sugar, these diets are also high in fat content. Interestingly, a Harvard journal reports that no health benefits were found by following a low-fat diet.
Keto Diet Benefits
If you’re depressed, should you give the keto diet a try?
As the keto fad is reaching tremendously high levels of popularity, the craze is also accompanied by an outpouring of very positive anecdotal reports regarding mood stabilization. Check out all the n=1 reports on keto communities on the web.
This thread is supported by an overwhelming wave of similar personal stories. Obviously, this is all anecdotal, so what any reported scientific findings on keto’s positive impact on depressed folks?
It turns out that science says keto can CURE your depression!
Of course, doctors will never tell you this, as there is money to be made by pumping you up with medications you don’t need! They will also often feed you fake news about how your cholesterol is killing you and prescribe you a statin as well.
The excess glucose you are consuming likely has a damaging effect on your brain when it comes to your mood, which is also the cause for various neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. Cut out the carbs entirely to save your brain!
While many keto adherents restrict their carb-intake and see improvement, the stories of carnivore dieters who completely cut out ALL carbs are fascinating. Myself included. I saw a definite improvement in my day-to-day mood on my three months on keto, but once I transitioned to the carnivore diet, I felt like a different human being.
I view the keto diet as a happy medium that most people can achieve, but I think that adhering to a zero-carb, animal fat-based diet will lead to the best mental health you will ever have in your life. There are many reports of this, such as the testimonies of Jordan B. Peterson and his daughter Mikhaila.
The Role of Cytokines in Depression
Have you ever heard of cytokines? Cytokines are a category of cell proteins that function as cell signalers. They are responsible for the communication process that governs the basic activities of cells and coordinates all cell actions. A promising scientific explanation for the emergence of depression is coming out called the “cytokine model of depression”.
The theory holds that inflammation of the brain is the primary cause of depression. Cytokines, being the immune system messengers that regulate inflammation, can actually be inflammatory themselves. Excessive chronic production of inflammatory cytokines contributes to inflammatory diseases, such as atherosclerosis and cancer. They have also been linked to depression and other neurological diseases. A balance between pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines is necessary to maintain proper mental health.
Mounting evidence indicates that inflammatory cytokines contribute to the development of depression in both medically ill and medically healthy individuals. Inflammatory cytokines may serve as mediators of both environmental (e.g. childhood trauma, obesity, stress, and poor sleep) and genetic (functional gene polymorphisms) factors that contribute to depression’s development. In patients with major depression, higher levels of circulating pro-inflammatory cytokines have been measured.
If cytokines are present to help our bodies with our immune system response, what is our body responding to? If you remember my Alzheimer’s article, you’ll recall that when the brain gets a stream of excess glucose, its ability to induce glycolysis is impaired, so the protein “amyloid” isn’t able to be broken down. This leads to the brain developing plaque buildup of amyloid, which is an obvious source of inflammation! Could it be that the actions of these cytokines in response to sugar intake be the source of your depression! You betcha, kiddo!
Your diet holds the power to change who you are as a person. When you decide to cut out the sugar, the carbs, and the seed oils, you really begin to see what you are capable of when you stop consistently slowing yourself down with the intake of poison. Let your body be fueled by ketone bodies instead of glucose, and you will have a much more consistent and happy headspace on a regular basis.
Remember kids, EAT MEAT and THRIVE!
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